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Questions, Uncertainty Linger Over Plan For Playland In Rye

Many parties involved with reinventing Rye Playland still have questions about the process and the plan.
Many parties involved with reinventing Rye Playland still have questions about the process and the plan. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice File Photo

RYE, N.Y. -- County legislators and other parties involved in the reinvention of Playland Amusement Park still have questions regarding Sustainable Playland Inc.'s plans to take over and upgrade the park.

Members of the Board of Legislators' Government Operations Committee met on Tuesday, Dec. 17, with representatives from Central Amusements International, the company hired to operate the amusement portion of the reinvented Playland. The CAI officials said they are still waiting on some information such as an updated parking study, which could impact attendance and revenue projections.

"We're far away from settling things with SPI right now," said CAI Vice President Peter Pelle. He said that CAI has also asked for a letter issued from the county executive's office, naming them as an approved subcontractor for the Playland reinvention, but that the company has not yet received one.

"We're at a place where, generally speaking, we think people know what it is we can do, want to do, intend to do, would like to do, and really we just need to sit down and discuss something in more concrete terms with you, and with SPI," said Joe Montalto, a consultant with CAI. "It's just reached a point where I think that needs to happen. Otherwise, I don't know where we go."

Legislator Catherine Borgia said that the board is technically supposed to approve the Playland Improvement Plan by the end of the year, but that taking additional time to review would likely not trigger SPI to pull out of the asset management agreement. She said there is still a lot of uncertainty about the project.

"I feel like there's a lot of moving pieces," said Borgia. She said that the board has not received an updated parking plan and financials. There are also issues of a lawsuit by Legislator Ken Jenkins against the Playland Improvement Plan, as well as Rye residents' objections to the proposed field house.

CAI was one of the companies that had originally responded to the county's RFP with a plan to revitalize the park. Legislator Bill Ryan brought up the possibility of CAI going forward with its original plan, instead of SPI's plan.

"We really want to be a part of Playland. We entered into a letter of intent with SPI to try to stay involved in Playland. We made it clear to SPI that if there's a chance we might still want to pursue our own proposal, we can do that," Pelle said. He said that the company is willing to work with the companies running the Ice Casino and the Westchester Children's Museum, but that operating the sports zone and field house is not what they do.

With the delays in approval of the plan, Pelle said that the company is running out of time to manufacture and install new rides.

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